Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pete Turner - car wash sign

BP car wash sign - copyright Jeffery Blackwell 2009

(Click the image for a larger view - large file)

This blog's about “cars” but it’s also about photography and the esthetics of the craft (art). Sometimes.

I took this picture at a BP gas station (but you knew that) where I stopped along Rte. 2 in Western Illinois. It really doesn’t matter where it is, because it could have been taken anywhere.

When I was coming up as a photographer, one of the sensations in the relatively new and disrespected field of color photography was a guy named Pete Turner. If you are into fine art photography, you know Turner. I really like his work.

One of his most famous images is of a trash can on a beach. It was recently featured on the cover of a very expensive new magazine about fine art photography called simply “Color”. You can see it here. (Actually, Turner frequently photographed car/truck-related scenes...)

When my father-in-law brought me the “Color” magazine, I managed to dial up this image from the very slow memory chip I call my brain, and looked it up on the hard drive of my PC.

As a photographer, you will notice the saturated, flat color and the subtle shadow across the rough block texture, the color difference between the direct and reflected sunlight, the reflections on the blue surface, the composition that cuts off the objects in the lower left of the frame, and the seam in the sign that bisects the letter “s”, which is what I originally noticed.

As an observer of the world around you, you may also notice the weathering of the adhesive letters that textures the marketing message of the graphic. Can a car wash keep my car from aging?

(And isn't that post in the corner in Shell colors?)

Classic gas station design has always relied on flat, smooth areas of brand colors against white. The ceramic coated metal plates that used to sheath the buildings are long gone, but the style has proven its effectiveness.

Anyway, I like the picture.

All words and images copyright Jeffery Blackwell 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! Double clutch!!